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Strictly Albums Of The Year: The Hunter

Released 27th September 2011 on Reprise

Chart Performance: The Hunter shocked many by flying into the UK charts at number 19.

What The Critics Said: “It sounds like an iffy proposition, but the band totally pull it off. It’s official: Mastodon are one of the all-time great hard-rock groups.” The Alternative Press

Mastodon have carved out a fearsome legacy over the past decade with a series of releases that have moved the band into a position of unassailable critical acclaim. Metal hammer, Pitchfork, NME and even Q magazine have fallen in love with Mastodon, and who can blame them? Remission, Leviathan, Blood Mountain and Crack The Skye displayed a mastery of progressive but approachable metal that saw the band earning new fans and climbing up festival line-ups. Naturally enough, the band hit a plateau, their sound proved too brutal and too complex to ever threaten a headline slot.

Not ones to stand still, Mastodon evolved on The Hunter into a streamlined beast. The majority of its tracks clocked in at under four minutes, and Mastodon show more intent than they have ever done previously. “Curl Of The Burl” is shamelessly addictive, “Blasteroid” is a scream along treat, and even the band’s more expansive efforts, like the delicious winding title track, display a flair for melodic progression (and offer a clear nod to The Beatles).

The end product may have turned up some hipster noses, but it was the sort of record Mastodon needed to make, and as a band they now appear complete. In between their bruising odysseys and relentless batterings they can now deploy an array of gloriously immediate three-minute thunderbolts, capable of sparking spirited sing-alongs as well as ferocious pits. The Hunter is the long awaited proof that Mastodon really can do it all.  David Hayter

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Author: david

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